David's Views: Power Generation
Power is key to running our modern society, particularly electric power, without which not much works. The problem at present is that much of this power is generated in a non-sustainable manner - using coal, oil, gas or nuclear fuel sources. All these sources are limited and all produce waste products that we cannot handle well and too often pollute the ground, sea or air in which we dump the waste product.
This country is rich in possible renewable energy sources. We have big tidal estuaries, plenty of waves along a large coast line, good sea current flows, reliable light levels, some geothermal activity, steady Gulf Stream wind forces and so on.
So my views are:
- We should make more use of the wind, wave, tidal, solar and hydro-electric sources that are available to us in this country.
- We should have tidal barriers on major rivers like the River Severn to harness that source of power.
- The wind resource on land is the best in the whole of Europe and we should be placing wind farms in the western parts of the UK that are in the best locations to capture the prevailing wind.
- The wind resource at sea is even greater than on land because turbines are about 50% more effective at sea. Therefore we should be setting up wind farms at sea. This would also have a good spin-off effect for shipyards in the UK which could build the rigs required.
- We should have schemes to get solar panels on the majority of house roofs in the UK, whether these are water heaters or photo-voltaic cells.
- We should have wave farms to capture some of the natural wave power that is hitting our shores all year round.
- We should have schemes in each river side town to use the natural flow of the river to harness that power.
- Sea currents are another area to harness free power from and this is another resource we have in plenty and should use more.
- The main concept to change is that in the era of renewable energy the sources are many and numerous. There is not one large power station but many small ones.
- What we really need is a government that takes this issue seriously and is prepared to take real action to boost renewable use. I believe the Liberal Democrats are prepared to take the action required.
The bottom line:
- We should convert the UK to have the vast majority of electricity generated from renewable sources - we should not leave the current mess for our children to sort out.